Monday, January 25, 2010

Film Yap: Tooth Fairy

We all know puns are easy. Right now my mind is racing as I think of how to connect Tooth Fairy to root canals or gingivitis. I could not have been one of the five screenwriters for this movie because I am thinking too much. In this movie Derek (Dwayne Johnson) has several puns about his situation. They are hilarious like “You can’t handle the tooth!” or the brilliant “I pledge allegiance to the tooth.” Oh man. I had to stop typing for a bit in order to catch my breath.

You may be wondering: Okay obviously this movie has the humor down pat, but what about the plotting? Plotting is important and if the premise doesn’t make sense, then the whole movie may not work. Well don’t worry! Since Derek made a comment to his girlfriend’s daughter that the tooth fairy may not be real, he is forced to serve as the real tooth fairy for two weeks. Apparently tooth fairies exist secretly, which confused me to no end. If tooth fairies are real and they are the ones putting the cash under the pillows, shouldn’t every parent know that tooth fairies are real since they aren’t the ones doing it? So then why does being a tooth fairy have to be a secret? Also what the bloody hell do they want with all of those teeth? No, no it does not run Fairyland (I kid you not) because apparently that is fueled entirely by people believing in the tooth fairy. Want Fairyland to be prosperous? Stop going through all of these absurd ways to keep this job a secret! I digress. I am clearly not as smart as the five screenwriters.

I do understand that kids movies are meant to be fun. Plots don’t have to be logical and profound; they just have to be entertaining. Tooth Fairy isn’t, though. Yes Stephen Merchant and Billy Crystal (who is oddly uncredited) provided some surprising smiles from what appeared to be improvisation. Aside from a few of those moments, I can’t image kids actually liking this movie. There are so many awkward silence pauses and situations that are just bizarre. Why would kids enjoy a confusing subplot about why some fairies don’t have wings? Why would kids like an ongoing erection metaphor? Why would kids like a Seth MacFarlane scene where he plays a shady drug-dealing fairy?

This movie makes so little sense and each scene is just propelled towards the next set piece. The film even stops caring about the set pieces because some of the magical acts they build up to aren’t even on-screen. Johnson tries to save a few scenes with his charisma, but too much of it becomes undeniably embarrassing. Kid movies don’t have to be like this. If the studios treat children with a degree of intelligence, they may actually create a movie that will be remembered and adored after the kids have grown up. Sadly, this is the type of movie that will make kids no longer excited to lose their baby teeth.

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